Radical media, politics and culture.

autonomy, recognition, movement

I'm in the middle of writing an essay on autonomy, movement and recognition (the abstract, itself written I think a month ago, below). Suggestions for readings, tangents, whatever would be good.

Obviously, Agamben's comments on 'movement' are provocative and interesting. Although I don't see how a concept of 'lack' is required to mitigate against closure, I think his reading of the Schmittian tripartation of state / movement / people is useful here, movement as the failure of demos (people) to connect with -cracy (rule).

Also interesting is (but in quite another way) is Vahamaki's essay on commonplaces. Vahamaki's comments on commonplaces as the production of platitudinous community is pretty swell.

Anyway, all that is working its way in to an essay which actually begins with a critique of concepts of movement as the connective between people (or multitudes) and state, as a fleeting, transitional phenomena, rendered as 'lacking' intellect. Obviously, at stake here are the constructions of migratory movements as not movements in any socio-political sense, and therefore requiring the intervention of, well, intellects. A pretty standard, but in this case highly racialised, version of Leninisim/Taylorism, which I think has its updated, 'post-fordist' versions in, well, I'll leave the rest of the discussion for the essay itself...

Abstract: "Autonomy, Recognition and Movement"

I begin with a discussion of the impact of the most recent waves of undocumented migration on traditional socio-political understandings of what a movement is. I argue that those waves of migration, and the struggles against border controls that have ensued, pose a concrete challenge to the particular role granted to intellectuals in such understandings. I then discuss some of the specific stakes of such understandings as they arose in the struggles around migration and 'globalisation', principally but not exclusively in Australia over the last six years. In December 2004, the last of those who escaped from the migrant internment camp at Woomera (Australia) in 2002 was captured by Immigration officials. Ali had been working clandestinely in Melbourne, among the growing number of undocumented workers. Between these two moments of escape and capture lay a whole series of debates about recognition and visibility within and around the struggles to close the camps, including the noborder networks and migrant/refugee solidarity groups. The essay explores those debates as they connected to, on the one hand, the process of refugee determination and migration management and, on the other hand, the particular role of academic and cognitive workers in navigating the particular dilemmas of visibility and clandestinity in relation to the autonomous movements of undocumented migration.

[ps. hydrachrist, I look fwd to the rest of the your essay, translations.]